A Simple Plan
By Mimi Greenwood Knight
For many of us, the recent shut-down was an opportunity for a do-over. As we stepped out of our day-to-day life, there was suddenly time to reevaluate our commitments, routines, habits, and decide whether we’d return to business as usual or make some changes. If you’ve longed to streamline your life, this could be a great time to do it. But how do we welcome simplicity, clarity, and spaciousness into our days without the wheels falling off? Consider your everyday routines and habits and, for one week, try these challenges and see how much clutter you can jettison from your days.
Streamline your morning routine
- Lay out your clothes or at least consider what you might wear.
- Make your lunches and pack your bag or briefcase.
- Get your workout clothes ready.
- Place everything you’ll need by the front door to grab and go.
- Make breakfast or at least consider what it might be.
Simplify your eating habits
- Plan your meals for the week, so you know what you need to purchase. Being organized eliminates the need for multiple grocery trips and reduces impulse buying.
- Is it possible to streamline your meals? Consider a routine of a green smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch, and soup or stir fry for dinner. Use this as a starting point, then change it up any time you want.
Edit your calendar and daily tasks
- Look at your schedule for the next month. Where can you remove things and simplify them? Can you limit the number of meetings you run or attend? Might a memo or phone call be just as effective as a meeting?
- Reduce the number of times you check your emails to two or three times a day, not every time you see an alert.
- Consider reducing the kids’ after-school activities to the ones that genuinely interest them.
Less is more
Have more in your life by having less to distract from the things that really matter.
Purge // It’s a great time to toss things you don’t need. Start in your kitchen with cooking utensils, gadgets, forgotten cookbooks, and topless Tupperware. Donate anything you don’t use or any multiples. Then proceed to the next room.
Go paperless // Automate everything that you possibly can. Pay bills electronically. Refill prescriptions online or over the phone. Switch to electronic bank statements. When catalogs or coupons arrive, look at them, then recycle them.
Adopt organizational systems // Take time to create systems. Then use them. When you remove clothes, return them immediately to the closet or put them in the hamper. Consider cooking batches of food on Sunday to eat all week or freeze for future meals. Group your errands and tasks by areas of town.
Delegate tasks // Outsource tasks whenever possible. Hire someone to clean your house. Sign up with a landscape service. Enlist a dog walker to walk your dog. Have your
dry-cleaning picked up and delivered. Sign up for a meal
kit delivery service such as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.
Here are some innovative resources for streamlining your life, mind, and routines.
- Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps to Simplify Your Space by Kathi Lipp
- Declutter Your Life by
- The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay
- Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider.
- New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks by Fay Wolf
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.
- Secrets of an Organized Mom by Barbara Reich
- The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley